Big Society, Disability and Civil Society Research

Website for ESRC research project 'Big Society? Disabled People with Learning Disabilities and Civil Society'

Making Space #IntimateCitizenship workshop day one, 2nd September, 2015

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Day One was a chance for the project team to meet up with old friends and to make some new ones too. The focus of the day was on introducing the notion of intimate citizenship and of the three strands that make up the intimate citizenship workshops: loving, working and consuming.

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The day began with a forum theatre performance by SPIN reflecting on the barriers facing people with learning disabilities who become parents. Forum theatre allows for discussion of complex issues and encourages the audience to take part in the performance in order to offer solutions or other interpretations of the discussion.


This was followed by a series of scholarly sound bites; these brief introductions, from people working in universities about their research, captured the range of their interests and cultural locations from the experiences of aboriginal men with HIV in Canada, to the lives of labeled people on the margins in Australia to the lives of children with life shortening impairments in the UK. Each of the scholarly sound bite addressed issues of intimate citizenship in labeled people’s lives and discussions continued with comments from the floor.


In the afternoon, Jodie and Vicky presented findings from the Big Society research. They spoke about the importance of self-advocacy and the threats posed by the cuts to self advocacy in the UK as well as sharing details of the #JusticeforLB campaign in the UK.

This was followed by more scholarly sound bites focusing on loving with presentations on new eugenics, the intimate lives of people who use assisted and augmentative forms of communication as well as desiring disability, among others.

And the day wrapped up with more discussion.



Author: Katherine RC

Katherine is Research Fellow in Disability Studies and Psychology at the Research Institute for Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University

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